Editorial: Island Greenway And Bard Wire Fence

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 01 August 2018 15:12

Managing Editor

The Carolina Beach Town Council voted to approve the route of  a 1.2 mile long $732,539.00 "Island Greenway" multi-use bicycle and pedestrian path during their March 10th, 2015 meeting. The project is funded by local tax dollars and federal and state grants.

Since 2015 the cost of the project has gone up.

It's taken a long time to get through the federal and state regulatory chain to reach this point.

Construction began in January 2018, and is planned for completion by September 2018.

The 1.2 mile paved 10’ multi-use path will border residential neighborhoods such as Carolina Sands and land owned by the U.S. Army's Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point (MOTSU) from Mike Chappel Park on Dow Road south to Alabama Avenue. The asphalt multi-use path will be bordered by a six-foot tall chain link fence topped with three-strand bard wire to keep people from climbing over onto the Army's property.

Town officials have said the path will be located on land owned by the U.S. Army as a buffer zone for the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point (MOTSU). The terminal is the largest ammunition depot on the East Coast. Operations are located on the other side of the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County and the "buffer zone" occupies a large portion of Pleasure Island encompassing land in both Carolina Beach and Kure Beach on the riverside of the Island. Since the Army owns the land, the Town had to meet their requirement to install a fence.

When the project was approved by the Council in 2015, there were a number of people upset with the location of the path behind their homes as well as the addition of a large fence resembling what you would see surrounding a prison.

Council considered several options for more aesthetically pleasing types of fencing that would meet the security requirements of the Army, but decided on the chain link fence  because more appealing types were more expensive.

Last week Mayor Joe Benson heard complaints from residents living adjacent to the path about the appearance of the fence and bard wire.

Benson said he asked for work to stop on the installation of the fencing and for staff to consider other more appealing options and present the financial figures to Council at their August 14th, meeting.

Benson explained in an email to one resident, "On August 14, the Council will take this to a vote. I can’t and won’t predict what the other four will decide. I can tell you that barbed wire is a no-go for me. A reasonably priced ornamental fence, one not cost prohibitive, is also appealing to me."

Residents concerned about the appearance of the fencing along the path should attend the August 14th Council meeting at Town Hall at 6:30pm to voice their opinions to Council.


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